In Case Of Emergency Break Glass
Turn your game around when it starts heading south
Labels: Instruction, Faults And Fixes, Iron Play, Quick Tips, Ballstriking, Driving, Swing, Putting, Amateur, Power, Techniques, Trouble Shots, Game Improvement, Full Swing, Drills, Slicing, Shotmaking
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REHEARSE LOOKING AT THE HOLE
There are two major factors in putting: pace and line—pace being the more important of the two. Reason being, the line changes depending on how fast or slow the ball is rolling, and how far away from the hole you are. It's possible to make a putt from the same spot using different lines, as long as each line chosen has the right pace to go along with it.
So how do you determine the right pace? The length of arm swing dictates the distance the ball will roll. Try looking at the hole while making your practice stroke and feel the amount of arm swing required. Set up and aim, then just try to mimic your rehearsal stroke and hold the finish. This simple drill helps you get a visual picture of the pace and the stroke needed to get the ball close.
FIRM UP YOUR LEFT HAND
Missing short putts can be mental and physical. On the mental side, try to keep the self-talk positive and choose to trust your stroke. On the physical side, keep the face of the putter moving down the target line. This prevents a jab stroke that's never reliable on short putts.
My favorite trick for helping to get the putter moving down the line and not releasing too soon is to remember to firm up my left hand. This helps keep my arms active in the putting stroke. If I get flippy, (see opposite photo), I'll have a tough time making short putts! Instead, keep that left hand firm and swing the putter with your shoulders, not with your wrists. Do that and I bet you'll start making a lot more short putts.
Bobby Hinds, PGA, teaches at Woodley Lakes GC in Van Nuys, Calif. For more information, visit bobbyhinds.com.
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